Before I get started on my little Biblical journey, it’s probably worth sharing the assumptions that will lay the groundwork for this endeavor:
- I’m not a theologian. In fact, if I’m honest, I can’t say that I’ve read every page of the Bible. I’ve read most of them, but I haven’t made it through Revelations (gives me the heeby jeebies…and that’s when I think I understand it) and there are a few books in the OT that I have skimmed because, well, reading about who was the son of who was the son of so-and-so gets a little boring. Sorry ’bout that, God.
- I believe that the Bible is infallible. What I don’t believe in is the infallibility of human language, the human mind, and the human heart. It’s all muddled with sin. So I try to acknowledge that while the Bible may be true, how we understand it and what we think it says, is often way off point. I’ve been known to miss the point often (just ask Barbara Biesecker and what she thinks of my read on Derrida. Hint: her answer involves “lazy thinker”). Open my Bible and you’ll find margins full of notes, including one’s that highlight nearly every verse in the book of Mark to support a vegetarian diet. I’m so glad that phase is over (how did I survive without steak?), but the experience taught me a lot about perception. Reading anything is a lot like playing with a wiji board: you always find what you’re looking for, often at the sacrifice of the “big picture”.
- I believe that our relationship with Christ is an intimate one. While my interpretation of the Bible isn’t always on point, I believe that everyone should read the Bible…or at least the Gospels…and wrestle with it, debate it, pray about it and negotiate its meaning in your heart. I don’t answer to a Pope or Jerry Fallwell, I answer to God. Perhaps it’s a little gutsy to think that I have direct access to the Main Man, but that’s what Christ’s death did for me and while I don’t deserve it, I am pumped that God thought us cool enough to hang out with one-on-one.
- I read NIV…basically because King James is written in a way that traps my mind in language, not in thought…and The Message sounds like reading about God from a 15 year old girl. I’ve been a 15 year old, and trust me, she doesn’t have much to say that’s of value. Also, NIV recently underwent an update that removed a lot of the “he” and “him” language and replaced it with more inclusive words.
- Okay, that’s it for now. I’m sure I will think of other tidbits here-and-there and I’ll be sure to update this disclaimer as I go along.
- Gotta run! It’s nap time and therefore reading time…